In H.H. Munro's (Saki's) short story The Open Window, why is Mr. Nuttle visiting the country?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There's not much mystery as to the reason Mr. Framton Nuttle is visiting the country in H.H. Munro's short story The Open Window. Indeed, the third sentence of the story informs the reader as to the nature of this somewhat eccentric character's condition and the reason he has relocated to the rural communities:

"Privately, he doubted more than ever whether these formal visits on total strangers would help with the nerve cure which he was supposed to be undergoing in this rural retreat."

Munro's story is about a man, Nuttle, who has moved to the country for his mental well-being, only to find himself the target of "a self-possessed young lady of fifteen." As Munro's story progresses, it becomes clear that this precocious young lady is highly-skilled at 'pulling-the-wool' over the eyes of unsuspecting and generally naive visitors. Without a moment's hesitation, the girl frightens this socially awkward visitor with a morbid tale about death, prompting Nuttle's hasty departure. The irony of Munro's story, then, lies in the fact that the main protagonist has relocated to the country for his mental health, but is immediately and mercilessly set upon by a teenager with a macabre sense of humor, prompting the opposite emotional reaction than what Nuttle's sister had had in mind when she suggested he make this trip.